Be very afraid.
One of the biggest draws for people who use Twitter is it’s immediacy. Where in years past the masses relied on major new outlets to break stories during their broadcasts, Twitter has in many ways made them obsolescent. “Live-tweeting” has become the fulcrum of any major televised event, and so has celebrity beefs which very frequently are warred out in 140-character bursts across timelines globally… and then usually deleted right after. The moment-oriented nature of the social network is its main allure — at any given moment Kanye West could be accused of being probed, or B.o.B. could proclaim the world is flat. Well be prepared, as you may miss out on many of these moments with Twitter’s upcoming upgrade.
Twitter is looking to rollout an algorithmic timeline as early as next week according to BuzzFeed. This new timeline could replace their current reverse chronological feed, which surfaces tweets as they occur, and instead relying on algorithms to show users what it thinks they’d like to see at the top. As of now it’s unknown whether Twitter will force users to use the algorithmic feed, or if it will be optional.
Buzz Feed explained:
As BuzzFeed News reported in June, an algorithmic timeline represents a way for Twitter to elevate popular content, and could solve some of Twitter’s signal-to-noise problems. It is also widely assumed to be anathema to the platform’s typically vocal power users.
This change follows Twitter’s recent switch from a “favorites” star button to “likes” heart button, which was largely met with disdain by the Twitter faithful. There is also speculation that Twitter will remove its 140 character limit.
If the Twitterpocalypse is upon us, it has at least been a fun ride.